Pakistan v Australia, 1st MCC Spirit of Cricket Test, Lord's, 2nd day July 15, 2010

Aamer cleverer than I was at 18 - Wasim Akram

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Aamer's four-wicket haul in the first innings at Lord's has led pace legend Wasim Akram to comment that Aamer "is much cleverer than I was at 18". Aamer, a left-arm seamer like Akram has impressed since he burst on the Test scene in 2009 leading to comparisons between the two. Akram's endorsement comes as a confidence booster for the young seamer who is part of Pakistan's talented pace attack for the England tour.

"It was exciting to watch Aamer bowl so well at Lord's," Akram told AFP after Aamer finished with four wickets in the first innings. "He is a special talent and has pace, nip and can swing the ball both ways which is ideal for a paceman, and augurs well for his future."

Aamer's spell, supported by Mohammad Asif, helped Pakistan bowl Australia out for 253. Given the inexperience in their batting line-up, a lot is expected from the Pakistan seam attack, and Akram was pleased with Aamer's development.

"Aamer has got a head start and is a quick learner, so I see no reason why he can't go on to become a leading fast bowler. He is already spearheading the Pakistan pace attack and watching him bowl, everything pitched up, banging in every delivery and testing the best batsmen in the world excited me no end," Akram said.

Akram however had some technical advice for the youngster. "What I noticed at Lord's and in the series in Australia is that he bowls wide of the crease. That may help the ball to come in, but on slower tracks it won't work, so he needs to bowl closer to the stumps," Akram said.

Akram also dismissed concerns that Aamer may struggle with injuries due to wiry build. "Some people say his physique is not that of a fast bowler, but he is only 18. He can strengthen his muscles with time and I am sure he will spend more time in the gym," Akram said.

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